The Serbian quality mark of quality was approved in mid-May for eight Serbian products from the meat and food processing industry, and in coming weeks these products will find themselves on the shelves of all retail chains and small shops in Serbia, said Agriculture and Environmental Protection Minister Branislav Nedimović.
“Our primary goal was, first and foremost, to ensure the competitiveness and quality of products. This mark of Serbian quality should actually contribute to the state getting involved and to give the final confirmation that something written on the label is actually like that – that it was produced in Serbia and is of higher quality than the standard,” said Minister Nedimović.
This mark represents a voluntary standard of quality, regulated by the Regulation on the Labelling of agricultural and food products with the national mark of higher quality “Serbian Quality”. The Ministry of Agriculture and Environmental Protection was provided with support in the development of the “Serbian quality” Mark by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations UN FAO and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development EBRD, under the auspices of a multi-year project “Improving the quality and safety of food in the meat production sector”, which is being implemented in Serbia.
UN FAO senior economist Emmanuel Hidier said that Serbia wants to be competitive and in this way it will ensure the certainty of customers gaining premium quality.
Miljan Ždrale, representing the EBRD, said that from the perspective of this bank it is very important to combine efforts and cooperate with companies and state institutions in order to improve the safety and quality of agricultural and food products and that companies that enter this labelling process will certainly face a new wave of investment.
From the moment of submitting an application to receive the “Serbian Quality” mark, confirmation lasts a maximum of three months, while the state refunds around 50 per cent of funds required for quality control from the budget.
Minister Nedimović said that this campaign is “a perfect example of public-private partnership between manufacturers and the state, where we have completely independent quality control”.